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I, Cinna (The Poet) is a new drama written and directed by Tim Crouch and starring Jude Owusu, inspired by the RSC's current production of Julius Caesar, directed by Gregory Doran. Both productions were commissioned for the World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the RSC for Festival 2012.
Cinna is a minor character in Julius Caesar, who is killed by the mob simply for having the same name as one of the conspirators. This powerful one-man play explores Cinna's experience of the political unrest going on around him as well as the purpose of writing, and how (and if) to engage in activism.
In addition to live performances of the production in the Swan Theatre in Stratford upon Avon in summer 2012, the RSC joined forces with project sponsor CISCO, with the support of Ravensbourne and Janet (one of the one of the world's leading research and education networks) to live stream the performance into schools on 2 July 2012, in a ground breaking collaboration commissioned as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, which is part of London 2012 Festival.
Around the play and live broadcast, we developed a wrap-around education programme to help teachers incorporate the performance into broader workshops or lesson plans. Supporting materials for teachers are available to download free of charge:
These resources are designed to be flexible, diverse and original, to be used with students from a wide variety of age groups and fitting in with the English and Citizenship curriculums.
During the course of the performance, Cinna invites students to write poems with him: small poems on big themes. These poems can be sent in afterwards to the RSC at firstname.lastname@example.org, where a digital archive of responses to the play has been created.
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